Learning Japanese? Try These Free Tools!

Even if you only have a few minutes a day to practice your Japanese, these applications will help Simple to use, allow you to expand your vocabulary, enhance your understanding and improve your Japanese reading and writing skills.

Mainichi Japanese

Turn your new tab into a language?leaming tool with this free browser extension for Firefox and Google Chrome. Every time you open a new browser tab, Mainichi Japanese (the name means Everyday Japanese) presents you with a random flash card.

Each card has a memorable illustration with the Japanese word in kana and Romaji, followed by the same word written in kanji.To see a new card, you just hit refresh or open another tab.

JLPT Locker

A simple app for the Android and Google Chrome platforms, JLPT Locker is designed to improve your Japanese word power. In study mode, it presents words from the JapaneseLanguage Proficiency Test (JLPT) vocabulary set in Romaji and kana, along with a definition in English. In quiz mode, the game shows you random words as either Roma or kana, and asks you to match them to their definitions or pronunciation. Once you’ve matched a word a certain number of times, it is moved to the “locker” and you won’t see it again unless you put it back into circulation.

You can set the level you prefer, from JLPT N5 to N1, and choose to include or exclude words you haven’t studied yet. Although JLPT Locker doesn’t teach kanji, it’s an invaluable tool for expanding your knowledge of Japanese.


Obenkyo is an amazingly full-featured language-learning app for Android, Chrome OS and \Mndows mobile platforms Based around the vocabulary for JLPT, Obenkyo teaches you all the kana and kanji you’ll need to pass every level of the Proficiency Test. Using simple, compelling multiple-choice matching games, you’ll work your way up through hiragana, katakana, and five levels of kanji.
Obenkyo tracks your progress, highlighting problem words so you can prioritize them for future study.

Perhaps the most useful offering is Obenkyo’s handwriting mode, which allows you to practice drawing kana and kanji, the app gives you feedback on crucial aspects of proper orthography, including stroke direction and stroke order.

Whether you’re planning to take the JLPT or studying for your own personal development, whether you’re able to spend hours each day on your language studies or you’re cramming a few minutes of Japanese into your coffee break, these tools will ensure that you see the progress you want. Use them every day and watch how fast your fluency improves.